What do you do with an idle maker space in the middle of a global pandemic? Manufacture medical personal protective equipment (PPE), of course.
While this might not be everyone's first thought, the idea came naturally to one SMU professor and lab manager. With an empty campus and the materials and drive to help, they quickly put themselves to work. Read on to learn about the process and impact of their project!
A Little Innovation, A Large Impact
On an ordinary day, the Deason Innovation Gym – also known as the DIG – in the Lyle School of Engineering is populated with students using 3D printers, laser cutters and other high-tech and common tools to create personal and class projects.
During these extraordinary times, however, the DIG is being put to use by Seth Orsborn, professor and director of DIG, and Alyssa Phillips, DIG lab manager, to manufacture face shields for area medical professionals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, so does the demand for different kinds of PPE. Orsborn and Phillips settled on making face shields using an open-source design from developer Josef Prusa because it enabled them to quickly make an impact.
The PPE Manufacturing Process at Work
Currently, the duo is able to manufacture 100 units per week. Deliveries have already been made to UT Southwestern Medical Center, Watermark Urgent Care and Brookdale Hospice Care. News of their efforts has resulted in donations from local corporations to support the manufacturing process.
Click the video below to watch the PPE manufacturing process!
To document their progress, Orsborn and Phillips post regular photo and video updates to the DIG’s Instagram account. A vlog is also in the works and will be available soon. Visit their website to see more photos of the manufacturing process.
Join A Community of Innovators at SMU!
This is just one extraordinary example of how SMU encourages it's graduate students to continually innovate and solve real world problems with the resources available to them. If you are ready to join this community of driven, dynamic graduate students and the world-renown faculty who support them, we invite you to browse our graduate programs to find the one that best meets your needs and professional goals. You can also request more information about your program of interest and we'll be in touch shortly!